SOS Children, the world’s largest orphan charity, has been working in Syria since 1980. There are two SOS Children's Villages in Syria, one in Qodsaya, 8 kilometres from the capital Damascus and one in Aleppo, as well as two SOS Youth Homes, one SOS Nursery and one SOS Social Centre.
Children’s lives are becoming increasingly at risk as fighting increases.
Andrew Cates, CEO of SOS Children UK says: “We are doing all we can to safeguard the children in our care and ensure that they come to no ill harm. Their lives have been uprooted and they are scared. For many they just want to go home, even if home is unsafe.”
The area of the SOS Children’s Village in Qodsaya was the scene of daily fighting between the opposition army and the Syrian army. Children and their SOS mothers evacuated the Village and were living in the regional office in Damascus. Now, the situation in the area surrounding the Children's Village has calmed and children and their SOS mothers have been able to return. However, local schools remain closed and it is unclear when the children will be able to go back.
The SOS Children’s Village in the city Aleppo is not targeted by any party but in war time errors know no excuses. The city has witnessed serious battles during the past weeks and its infrastructure has been damaged. The situation is getting more and more difficult and out of control. Every day brings something new. SOS Children is looking into finding apartments to accommodate all children with their mothers, as roads are not safe enough to evacuate the children from Aleppo to Damascus.